Chiguire
Topic Author
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:50 pm

I have never write a trip report here. The reason is that I am not a passionate photographer.
But from time to time things happen that should be shared even without pictures. An this is one of them:

11.3. LH 534 FRA-CCS
Scheduled departure time: 09:55, arrival CCS 15:10h. Boarding 09:10.
Gate B 42
So far everything started good. The flight was on the screen, no delay. The aircraft D-AIGC on the gate was being prepared for the flight :

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Photo © Alex Peter



After leaving to a restroom at about 09:00 I came back an the flight had disappeared on the screen at the gate. Coming from Venezuela I just assumed a technical failure. But only minutes later an announcement was made that there was a delay and an aircraft and a gate change.

New departure time about: 11:00h

About 200 pax made their way to the new gate B60.
Boarding started at 11:30h and the first passengers got scared because of their connecting flights at CCS.

At about 12:10h boarding by but to D-AIGB was finished and the aircraft was pushed back from a position at Terminal 2:

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Photo © Andreas Stoeckl



An this is the start of the adventure !
After pushback the aircraft moved some meters and an announcement was made:
"We seem to have a problem with the breaks and have to return to the position. We will try to fix the problem as soon as possible."

Only 10 minutes later: "We have fixed it". The aircraft was pushed back.
We taxied towards the "Startbahn West". Shortly before arriving there, we stopped at a parking position and the pilot announced: "We have the same problem again. Sorry for the inconvenience. We need to analyze some data now and will try to fix as soon as possible."

Time: 12:30h. Most passengers had now lost their connections. Some drinks were served.

13:50h the pilot: "We have finally fixed the problem and will now start. We will try to make up as much time as possible. If your connection in CCS is lost, the staff at CCS will take care of rebooking you.

Take off at about 14:10h.

I fell asleep and was woken up by a pilots announcement.....guess what !?!
"I a very sorry, but the problem has come up again. We are not able to continue our flight to CCS. We are awaiting ATC to assign a an area to dump fuel and will then return to FRA". Nice.
After checking the airshow I realized that we were in the air for about 25 minutes and close to ZRH.

After explaining the passengers the very funny and spectacular show of dumping more that 100.000 Euro, we could see this "spectacle" from the windows. I took a picture from my mobile but have problems in transfering it to the PC.
Fuel was dumped over the black forest ("Schwarzwald").
During the descend the pilot explained that the landing was a normal landing because there is a total of three breaking systems.
Nevertheless, I was surprised about the number of fire trucks and ambulances standing besides the runway with their flashlights on when we landed (normally).

Time: 16:45 h.
At this moment, I would like to remind you, that all the service we had in coach/economy was a drink while waiting on the ground. No lunch, no further drinks. We were starving !

LH took us to a very remote Gate B 58. I guess just in case the passengers start to make some trouble.
Just as a crowd of cattle they put some boxes with sandwiches and soft drinks on the ground and everybody has to serve himself. Seating was not enough so people even had to stand.
No information about the connecting flights were given. No chance/money to make phonecalls/WiFi connection - nothing. Just hijacked in a small gate.
http://i33.photobucket.com/albums/d59/Chiguire/CIMG0436.jpg

The display showed a departure " 18:00 to Frankfurt". Passengers started kidding, saying that they expect to return again to FRA.

During this waiting period it turned out that the aircraft change from D-AIGC to D-AIGB was due to engine problems.

At 18:00h we started boarding. But: As the aircraft had a slightly different configuration, we all lost our seating. The LH-system "invented" a new seating an I lost my window seat against a center seat in the center row Sad .

This was aircraft No. 3 for this day. D-AIGY

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Photo © Matt Barnette - IAH Spotters



After a 10-hour flight, we arrived at CCS at around 22:45 local, about 8 hours delayed.

As expected, the big shouting and screaming began a the LH transfer counter. Passengers with LH tickets to other destinations e.g. UIO, BOG, LIM, PTY received a hotel and flights were rebooked.

Passengers with separate tickets on domestic connections e.g. PMV, MAR, VIG etc. received: NOTHING. Just according to the regulations.
I was lucky having friends in CCS so I could overnight there. And I was even more lucky to get a new reservation to PMV for the next day during Easter high season.
Surprisingly LH paid me the taxi to the city !

Some passengers in connection to other destinations are still stuck in CCS until Saturday !

Now a final question: LH denies a compensation due to the fact that the delay was caused by technical reasons: EU regulations state a full refund if the delay is more than 6 hours. What is correct ?
Do you think there is the chance to get a compensation ?

And I need to stress the bad treatment by LH. This was the most disappointing ting of all. A technical problem - OK. But treating the coach passengers just as sh** is inacceptable.
At the first gate application forms for Miles & More were distributed. Some passengers destroyed the application inflight.
It is impossible to put the passengers in such a small waiting room with foodboxes on the ground. It is impossible to let the eco/coach passengers board through the rear door during heavy rain through an "open" stair while the front stair (with roof) was not used in order not to disturb the Business passengers.
And: I would have expected some more help/cooperation for the stranded passengers with such a delay. After dumping this big amount of fuel, the costs to satisfy the stranded passengers would have been minimal.
 
sk601
Posts: 896
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:46 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:21 pm

Well, these kind of things happen....., with ALL airlines, too bad you had to experience this.

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
LH denies a compensation due to the fact that the delay was caused by technical reasons: EU regulations state a full refund if the delay is more than 6 hours. What is correct ?
Do you think there is the chance to get a compensation ?

LH is correct about the compensation. According to EU regulations: in case of a delay, they need to provide food/drinks (which they did) and the possibility to contact your family/friends. EU regulations indeed state that you are entitled to a full refund of your ticket if the delay is 5 hrs or more, IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO TRAVEL !! So the airline needs to refund ALL kind of tickets, also the non-refundable ones. So if there is no point going to the destination (because you missed the meeting due to the delay), you may decide not to travel and get a refund.

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
Passengers with separate tickets on domestic connections e.g. PMV, MAR, VIG etc. received: NOTHING. Just according to the regulations.

....always book your connecting flight with 1 airline/in 1 ticket to avoid this.

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
It is impossible to put the passengers in such a small waiting room with foodboxes on the ground

I don't know if LH has a say in this and it is well possible that the gate/waiting room was assigned by FRAPORT, not LH.

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
I would have expected some more help/cooperation for the stranded passengers with such a delay

Out of my own experience, I can tell you that it is almost impossible to satisfy passengers if they have a delay that long. I paid a passenger Eur 650,- denied boarding compensation because of oversales and rebooked him on a flight 2 hours later and he still yelled at me. (he paid Eur 800,- for the return ticket!)
 
Knightsofmalta
Posts: 1665
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:35 pm

Sounds more like a rant than a trip report...
 
Chiguire
Topic Author
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:41 pm



Quoting SK601 (Reply 1):

....always book your connecting flight with 1 airline/in 1 ticket to avoid this.

I know, but this doesn't work in Venezuela - the strange it sounds !

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 2):
Sounds more like a rant than a trip report...

Sure, it is. But I wanted to share and I thought this was the best forum.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 1):
LH is correct about the compensation. According to EU regulations: in case of a delay, they need to provide food/drinks (which they did) and the possibility to contact your family/friends. EU regulations indeed state that you are entitled to a full refund of your ticket if the delay is 5 hrs or more, IF YOU DECIDE NOT TO TRAVEL !! So the airline needs to refund ALL kind of tickets, also the non-refundable ones. So if there is no point going to the destination (because you missed the meeting due to the delay), you may decide not to travel and get a refund.

About the compensation: Nothing ?

Quoting SK601 (Reply 1):
Well, these kind of things happen....., with ALL airlines, too bad you had to experience this.

Sure. I had no problem with it if the treatment was different.
 
AT
Posts: 879
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2000 12:16 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:42 pm

sounds terrible.

Given that you were switching from one A340 to another, I am surprised that the seating got screwed up so much--

Given that this was a LH problem, I hope that they at least upgraded passengers when possible to J or F before assigning them middle seats.
 
caspritz78
Posts: 229
Joined: Fri Aug 24, 2007 4:51 am

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:12 pm

Definitely a different report. Sorry for all the problems.

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
Fuel was dumped over the black forest ("Schwarzwald").

Aha, that was the funny stuff coming down on us  Wink
 
FLIEGER67
Posts: 5195
Joined: Tue Sep 16, 2003 4:43 am

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:40 pm

Hello, Chiguire,

for sure not the usual story, sad, but nevertheless interesting to follow what happens around your flight.

But remember that also the wheather situation was not easy at 11.03..
I´ve lost also a LH connection at FRA last Tuesday, but after my first anger, it was finally ok to reach home,
in one piece, only slightly later than formerly scheduled.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
PRAirbus
Posts: 687
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2005 11:59 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:41 pm

Oh, please! Don't be so dramatic...things like that happen all the time in all airlines. At least LH is big enough to find another aircraft and fly you safely to your destination...things cannot be perfect all the time, be realistic. All the passengers who caused trouble should have been left behind...some people behave like children when travel and leave their manners at home. The airline staff has the power and might not do their best to help you if you are rude, it's better to be nice, you'll end up taken care of.
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:56 pm

One flight, three different A343s and a fuel dump - definitely an adventure! Too bad LH's crisis management wasn't better.

Quoting Chiguire (Thread starter):
Some passengers in connection to other destinations are still stuck in CCS until Saturday !

Combining flights on airlines which don't cooperate is always risky, people should be aware of that.

Quoting SK601 (Reply 1):
I paid a passenger Eur 650,- denied boarding compensation because of oversales and rebooked him on a flight 2 hours later and he still yelled at me. (he paid Eur 800,- for the return ticket!)

I'd say thank you!  Wink


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
stylo777
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:10 pm

there are two different types of A343 in our fleet, one with first class and one with only business/eco. I'm pretty sure they switched to an aircraft with another seat configuration therefore a lot of passengers got new seats. the same thing happened 2 months ago and also on the CCS flight. the original plane went tech and the replacement aircraft was different configured and had 20 less seats. As the CCS flight that day was sold out we had to left 20 pax behind... too bad and I'm very sorry that you occurred also some troubles during your flight, but this is aviation and things like this happen every day. Better replace an aircraft 2-3 types as to fly with an unsafe one!!!

the gates are assigned by Fraport Ramp Coordination in FRA. Lufthansa is able to recommend the gates, but Fraport has the final say. B58 is indeed very small, but during that time of the day the evening rush hour with several longhaul flights start so hardly any bigger gate available.
 
Chiguire
Topic Author
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:22 pm



Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 9):
the gates are assigned by Fraport Ramp Coordination in FRA. Lufthansa is able to recommend the gates, but Fraport has the final say. B58 is indeed very small, but during that time of the day the evening rush hour with several longhaul flights start so hardly any bigger gate available.

Thank you for this clarification.

Quoting PRAirbus (Reply 7):
Oh, please! Don't be so dramatic...things like that happen all the time in all airlines. At least LH is big enough to find another aircraft and fly you safely to your destination...things cannot be perfect all the time, be realistic. All the passengers who caused trouble should have been left behind...some people behave like children when travel and leave their manners at home. The airline staff has the power and might not do their best to help you if you are rude, it's better to be nice, you'll end up taken care of.

This is a good point ! I spoke to another passenger from Venezuela during the stay at B58. He said: "Imagine that this happens to a Venezuelan airline in Venezuela. The european Passengers would be about to destroy the airport ! I am surprised how quiet they all are and that the accept everything LH does".
He is right ! Sometimes the airline needs to be reminded to do their job - sometimes they just understand it that way !

After all I myself was nice and kind to the LH staff. But I am kinda shocked how really bad they handled the situation. Especially if it comes to the information about the connecting flights.
 
Avianca
Posts: 5270
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:17 am

Nice report my friend...  Smile

Quoting Chiguire (Reply 3):
I know, but this doesn't work in Venezuela - the strange it sounds !

well you should the next time book your tickets via "Passanarini Tours" in CCS they have such a great customer-service , even if booked on separate tickets and its the fault by the airline the are helping...

Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 9):
As the CCS flight that day was sold out we had to left 20 pax behind... too bad and I'm very sorry that you occurred also some troubles during your flight, but this is aviation and things like this happen every day. Better replace an aircraft 2-3 types as to fly with an unsafe

Stylo777 are you often working the flight...? As I understand the flight is nearly always fully booked or?? at least it is always a nightmare when my parents do the run as non-revs...

cheers
Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
Chiguire
Topic Author
Posts: 1848
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:11 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:09 am



Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):

well you should the next time book your tickets via "Passanarini Tours" in CCS they have such a great customer-service , even if booked on separate tickets and its the fault by the airline the are helping...

You are right ! They are great ! I would rather make another 10 hours delayed LH flight instead of booking with them again !

Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):
As I understand the flight is nearly always fully booked or??

When I left to FRA about 2 weeks ago there were about 50-60 empty seats. On the 11.3. FRA-CCS there were also quite e lot of available seats. I guess we are now coming closer to the lowest low season April/May/June.
 
stylo777
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:55 pm



Quoting Avianca (Reply 11):

Stylo777 are you often working the flight...? As I understand the flight is nearly always fully booked or?? at least it is always a nightmare when my parents do the run as non-revs...

not too often as US-bound and EU flights are often in my area, but everytime I was working this flight it was nearly full however not overbooked so still a couple of empty seats available. next time just let me know...  Wink
 
B747forever
Posts: 12855
Joined: Mon May 21, 2007 9:50 pm

RE: The LH 534 Adventure 11.3. FRA-CCS

Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:05 pm

What a terrible experience.

I think that LH could make this way easier and nicer. Hope this doesnt scare you to fly with LH again



Thank you for sharing

B747forever
Work Hard, Fly Right

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